EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY (EMU) – Graduates, parents and friends gathered at the Convocation Center to celebrate commencement on Sunday, April 28.
“Today’s ceremony is more than a celebration,” EMU President James Smith said in a speech to the graduates. Smith recognized outstanding students, including three family members who are all receiving there degrees.
More than 2,700 students walked between the two ceremonies. Students of the College of Arts and Science and the College of Education walked in the morning. Graduates of the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Business and the College of Technology celebrated in the afternoon. 115 students graduated with honors.
Dave Zilko, CEO of FUEL Leadership, delivered the keynote address to the graduates and was presented with an honorable Doctorate of Commerce, a new degree program approved by the board of regents on Tuesday.
“Doing what you have to do to live the life you imagined for yourself,“ Zilko said in his speech to the graduates. “And it’s not just on a professional basis.
Zilko labeled his journey as irrational persistence and encouraged graduates to live the life they imagined for themselves. He started $450,000 in debt and ended up selling his company to Campbell Soup for $231 million.